Ottawa Fall Home Show – special ticket offer

Buy tickets for the Ottawa Fall Home ShowThis year’s Ottawa Fall Home Show will take as its theme ‘powered by the sun’, and we think the timing couldn’t be better.

When: Sept 29 – Oct 2, 2016

Where: EY Centre, 4899 Uplands Drive, Ottawa

Save $4 on each ticket you purchase by using the link in this post.

We’re excited to see the show embracing what we know to be true: homes built for the 21st-century should and can be easily powered by the sun.  Watch for EkoBuilt (booth 911)  as you take in the tremendous range of exhibitors and programming highlights at this year’s show. We’d love to have a chat.

Stay tuned for our next post: we’ll be sharing full details of the solar installation and power plans for the almost complete EkoModel Home.

July’s heat won’t keep you warm this winter

ProCell Blue insulation

Click for Thermocell website

Since launching the blog for our Ottawa Passive House project this spring, the most popular post has been Insulation in a Passive House. We’re never surprised when posts focusing on design – like the one on Douglas Fir timbers in home design – prove popular, but you clearly love the practical stuff too.

No surprise, really, when you consider that good insulation will make your home comfortable, energy efficient and healthy.

The EkoBuilt Model Home is insulated with Thermocell’s ProCell Blue, a blown cellulose insulation. In our books, this is the most cost-effective insulation on the market. For a side-by-side cost  and effectiveness comparison with insulation more typically found in conventional house builds, see below.

But what else should you know about ProCell Blue?

  1. It’s affordable – similar in cost to batts or loose fill fibreglass.
  2. It’s eco-friendly – being made with 100% post-consumer recycled newsprint.
  3. It’s high performance – with superior thermal, acoustical and fire resistant properties.
  4. It’s healthy – safe and non-toxic, it will not cause skin irritation or itching while also repelling insects and rodents.
  5. It’s easy – being straightforward and versatile to apply, offering seamless coverage.
  6. It will save you money – trimming easily 20 to 30% off your home’s energy bills.

If you want to learn more, follow the link to Thermocell’s website.

Cost comparison: conventional application vs. passive house application

northern elevation of the ottawa passive house

Northern Elevation

For the purposes of comparison, let’s use EkoBuilt’s Trillium Passive House plan: this four-bedroom home includes 2250 ft.² of roof space and 3300 ft.² of wall space.

Below are comparison costs for three different insulation options for the Trillium house plan:

Conventional application
Wall insulation value = R22
Roof insulation value = R40
Cost of rockwool batt insulation = $15,600
Cost of spray foam insulation = $17,900

PassiveHouse application
Wall insulation value = R75
Roof insulation value = R120
Cost of ProCell Blue cellulose insulation = $18,250

As you can see, we’re achieving three times the insulation value at very little additional cost. We’re also getting the benefit of an amazing product that uses a natural stabilizer, borate, which renders it completely fire retardant, mold and mildew proof, as well as insect proof. What more could you ask for?

EkoBuilt’s ProCell Blue Installer

Please feel free to contact our Ottawa-area insulation installer to get a quote or more information for your own home insulation:
Cliff Antonakos

Munster Joinery windows and doors for the Ottawa passive house

Windows & Doors for the Energy Efficient Home

When it came time to choose energy efficient windows and doors for the passive house that we’re constructing, the decision was obvious. Ireland’s Munster Joinery makes windows and doors that are three times better in performance than any North American options.

Europe has embraced the Passive House standard more quickly and readily than North America, so it’s not surprising to find that it is home to a large number of suppliers who can provide the right materials and finishes for PassiveHouse projects at competitive pricing and superior quality.


Energy efficient windows from Munster Joinery of IrelandFor the EkoModel Home, we chose the PassiV uPVC Tilt & Turn Window. This model comes in vinyl, aluminum and wood; we chose vinyl as the most energy efficient and cost effective option.

These windows, which are so much more energy efficient than North American units but similar in price, simply made sense for the EkoModel Home.


Similar to the window options, Munster Joinery doors also come in vinyl, aluminum and wood options.

Munster Joinery also offers the option of timber doors and windows which have been clad in aluminum; these are considered to be a good all-weather option with enhanced aesthetic appeal for some homeowners.

About Munster Joinery

Munster Joinery logoMunster Joinery is one of the largest manufacturers of energy efficient windows and doors in Europe. Founded in 1973, the company has continued to offer new products, materials and processes throughout its four decades. The company has operations in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom.

You can get a feel for the windows in the EkoModel Home from this photos from our timber frame post (click to enlarge):

Ontario’s climate change plan: how can you protect the investment in your home?

Ontario passive house construction by EkoBuiltAlthough the details are not yet clear, we are hearing increasingly about how plans to address climate change in Ontario may result in unwelcome increases in both hydro and natural gas.

An article published by the CBC explores the possibility of natural gas being phased out in the near future and rising costs associated with heating and cooling our homes.

There is no better time to address your home’s investment value.

If you’re on the cusp of a big renovation or looking to build a new home, now is the time to learn more about the PassiveHouse model and how you can live comfortably and affordably, free from dependence on fossil fuels. EkoBuilt’s smart passive home building plans and materials kits can get you there even more quickly.

Give us a call to find out more!


CBC article: Ontario climate change plan could spike hydro, natural gas rates

EkoBuilt: Find out why we’re building a Passive House in Ottawa

Passive House can be simple & affordable


The EkoBuilt Model PassiveHouse just west of Ottawa

The PassiveHouse standard is known for creating homes with an extremely small energy footprint, but did you know that it can be done simply, and even affordably?

PASSIVE HOUSE CAN BE SIMPLE – This state of the art low-energy home building style is actually based on simple technology. Smart design, abundant insulation, air-tight and vapor-tight constriction techniques, a 92% efficient air-exchange unit, a 10,000 BTU air-to-air source heat pump, and that’s pretty much it.

PASSIVE HOUSE CAN BE AFFORDABLE – A minimalist approach to design makes this possible. Minimizing exterior wall and roof area keeps material costs down. A simple roof line allows for speedy construction, saving on installation costs and keeping maintenance at a minimum.

Learn more about how building a Passive House might be simpler and more affordable than you think, right here.

See it in action at the EkoModel Passive House build just west of Ottawa. Contact us to find out more and to arrange a visit.

Scotiabank Report: Rising energy prices squeeze household budgets

This Special Report from Scotiabank illustrates extremely well the need for more energy efficient home design and construction:

Rising energy prices are eroding the purchasing power of Canadian
households. The average cost of energy products and other utilities used
in household operations and motor vehicle transportation has risen
roughly 5% this year. The increase has been broadly based,
encompassing gasoline, fuel oil, natural gas, electricity and water.

Download the full report right here.